For the tenth consecutive year, Wilkes University has been designated a Military Friendly® School by Viqtory Media, parent company of G.I. Jobs magazine. The 2020-2021 list recognizes the colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to support America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and after graduation.
The Military Friendly® School list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. More than 1,000 schools participated in the survey. 625 schools received the designation.
“This ranking demonstrates our ongoing commitment to service members and their families. It also reflects the success those service members have at Wilkes University by evaluating retention, graduation and job-placement rates,” said interim President Paul S. Adams. “We are proud to educate veterans in the mentoring environment that Wilkes is known for, while connecting them to professional opportunities.”
Lt. Col. Mark Kaster (retired), Wilkes University’s veterans counselor, said earning the designation reflects a campus culture dedicated to serving veterans.
“Wilkes University’s tenth year as a Military Friendly School speaks to the extraordinary commitment of our faculty and staff to support members of the military and their families,” Kaster said. “Those who have served and continue to serve our country deserve our deepest gratitude. Aiding in their transition to higher education is an honor for us all.”
The Military Friendly® School designation comes as a result of the University’s support services designed to aid veterans in their transition to academic life:
· A dedicated veterans affairs counselor who works with veterans as they enroll at the University.
· The Wilkes Student Veterans Council, which provides programming to help members of the military transition to the civilian world. Council members also support service projects related to the military, such as sending care packages overseas.
· The Veterans Center of Excellence, located on campus in Conyngham Hall, which offers a place where veterans can meet and study. Programs to assist veterans also are provided at the center.
· The Inter-Organizational Veteran Educational Support Team (INVEST), which connects Wilkes and community partners who can help mitigate risk factors that hinder veteran persistence in higher education.
In 2019, Wilkes dedicated Veterans Memorial Court on the University’s Campus Gateway in the Fenner Quadrangle. The dedication was held on June 6, the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy during World War II. Memorial plaques and benches among the United States, Pennsylvania and University flags offer a contemplative space in the heart of campus.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
For more information on veterans services, please click here.